That's pretty much what I thought the case would be. As you mention,
though, the balance may not be in line with what the head tones are.
The machine you are referring to is a Sondor, with a modified
headblock. It's interesting to note that we designed a similar
headblock for a couple of our dubbers back in 1997 to address the film
to head contact problems related to warped base material (I think ours
is a somewhat different composition from the Sondor roller, though).
Too bad I didn't patent it....
Scott D. Smith
Chicago Audio Works, Inc.
Quoting Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>:
> I think the Command 3-channel spread would be similar to what RCA or
> Mercury 3-channel spread is. In other words, left right and middle.
> They key would be, would the reissuing engineer and producer understand
> how to balance them so the 3-channel product would sound natural? It's
> not necessarily as simple as setting uniform levels to head tones, but
> sometimes it really is that simple with a minimum-mics recording.
> Command was recorded with more than 1 mic per channel in some cases but
> the spread was still the same idea -- a natural width and balance of
> the orchestra. So I don't think it's necessarily not what the producers
> intended, as long the natural balance and spread was maintained.
> The Command films I know about first-hand about are not in good shape,
> but could be transferred using one of those machines -- I believe built
> in Switzerland -- that push the film against the head with a pressure
> pad. I am not sure how much of the total catalog survives to this day.
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Scott D. Smith" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2008 3:00 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Everest masters
> That pretty much confirms what I had heard second-hand. Too bad that
> someone along the way didn't realize the value of them and put them
> into archival containers.
> It would be interesting to hear some of these recordings in their
> original three channel form (even though that's not what Robert Fine
> and the producers had necessarily intended). It's just tragedy that
> they weren't cared for.
> I hope that you were able to make some decent transfers, as my guess
> is they won't stand many more.
> Scott D. Smith
> Chicago Audio Works, Inc.
> Quoting Mark Jenkins <[log in to unmask]>:
>> The Everest 35mm masters were in VERY poor condition. The storage
>> containers we received them in were decades old, rusty, and the
>> vinegaring process had already started in many of them. They were
>> immediately transferred to new stable containers; however, I have been
>> unable to locate a few of the tapes that evidently (from what I have
>> been told) had already deteriorated beyond retrieval prior to our
>> purchase of them.
>> As for the other portions of the catalogue, certain areas (such as the
>> Fine Arts Quartet recordings) were actually in fair condition, and many
>> of these have already been transferred, and will eventually appear on
>> digital retail sites such as classical.com. We're still in the process
>> of getting through all of the material in order to make it available
>> again in disc-on-demand, as well as digital (and in some cases CD)
>> Mark Jenkins
>> President, Licensing Division
>> Madacy Entertainment LP/Countdown Media
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Scott D. Smith
>> Sent: Monday, December 15, 2008 1:39 PM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Project 3 masters
>> Fascinating. I would be most interested in knowing what you find in
>> the Project 3 catalog.
>> What kind of condition were the Everest masters in? They have really
>> gotten bounced around over the years...
>> Scott D. Smith
>> Chicago Audio Works, Inc.
>> Quoting Mark Jenkins <[log in to unmask]>:
>>> We actually represent the current owners of the Project 3 catalogue,
>>> Music, for licensing. We have not exploited this particular catalogue
>>> as of yet (as our initial interest was in the Vox catalogue, which is
>>> also owned by them). I'm in the process of getting a list of the type
>>> of masters in the archive still extant (multi-channel, 35mm, quad,
>>> etc.). Presently, the masters for these are in storage in
>>> Massacheusetts. I do not, as of yet, have a good handle on the
>>> condition of these, but will update you when known.
>>> Mark Jenkins
>>> President, Licensing Division
>>> Madacy Entertainment LP/Countdown Media
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
>>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Scott D. Smith
>>> Sent: Sunday, December 14, 2008 5:54 PM
>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] 35mm magnetic film as a music-master recording
>>> To the best of my knowledge, Command stopped using 35mm as a recording
>>> medium after Enoch Light sold the label to ABC Records in 1965. ABC
>>> sold it to MCA, who promptly relegated it to the trash heap of
>>> re-issues. A sad story...
>>> Richard Gradone did a doctoral dissertation on the career of Enoch
>>> and his record labels while at NYU in 1980. I have never read it, so I
>>> don't know if it might contain any pertinent information or not.
>>> I have only a few Project 3 original releases. I know that "Patterns
>>> Sound" series was done on 35mm, but after that, I'm really not sure.
>>> There is also the entire catalog of Project 3 quad releases, which I
>>> assume were probably done on 4 track tape, but could have been
>>> on 35mm 4 track mag as well.
>>> In general, the recordings that Enoch Light did under the Command
>>> were considered by many to be both artistically and technically
>>> to the Project 3 releases, which had arrangements which were tended to
>>> be less interesting than those that were done under the Command label.
>>> In general, they didn't sell as well as the Command releases did.
>>> I have no idea what Essex is doing with the current catalog, or even
>>> where the masters are. My guess is that they are probably in about the
>>> same condition as the Everest masters.
>>> The only other possible release I can think of might be the 1957
>>> (Stokowski) version of "Fantasia", release by Walt Disney under the
>>> Buena Vista label. Sadly, the original 1939 recording has been lost to
>>> time, having been recorded on 35mm nitrate film, and later transferred
>>> to 3 track magnetic film over a jury-rigged class A phone line
>>> arrangement in 1955. Despite this, Terry Porter managed to clean it up
>>> fairly well for the 1980 re-release.
>>> There were also a number of other movie soundtracks which were done on
>>> 35mm mag for film release, some which ran simultaneous session tapes.
>>> know a few scoring mixers who worked in Hollywood during the early
>>> seventies. They have told me that practices varied from session to
>>> session. Some would run tape and film, others were done only on film
>>> (usually four track or six track), and later mixed to a 2 track tape
>>> master for album release. Since liner notes seldom contained these
>>> details, they are probably lost to time. Nearly every mixer I've
>>> to has preferred the quality of the mag film masters over those done
>>> tape. This is probably primarily due to the faster speed of the film
>>> (equivalent to 18 IPS), thicker oxide formulations, and wider track
>>> configuration (150 mil for 3 track, 100 mil for 6 track).
>>> Nearly all the mag film that I have worked with from the mid-1950's
>>> through the late 60's has suffered from some degree of VS, some much
>>> more so than others. Even film that has been stored in decent vault
>>> conditions has suffered, primarily due to the fact that most of it has
>>> been stored in sealed film cans, which doesn't allow for venting of
>>> film. Most of the films also suffer from various degrees of base warp,
>>> which makes for a difficult situation when it comes to maintaining
>>> film-to-head contact.
>>> Scott D. Smith
>>> *Chicago Audio Works, Inc.*
>>> Tom Fine wrote:
>>>> Hi All:
>>>> I'm cookin' up some research here and I figured I throw a few
>>>> questions out to the group. The topic: the use of 35mm mag-film as
>>>> main recording medium for music albums.
>>>> 1. As far as I can tell, before Everest Records started using 35mm to
>>>> do classical music recording sessions, the only prior use of 35mm as
>>>> an album-recording or album-mastering medium was a few cases of
>>>> film-soundtrack albums where the LP master was cut right from the
>>>> soundtrack magnetic master. I think RCA issued a few of these early
>>>> the LP era but I'm not positive those were from 35mm magnetic masters
>>>> (they might have been from optical masters from pre-magnetic film
>>>> days). Any specific pre-Everest titles would be most appreciated.
>>>> Everest's use of mag-film was circa 1959-60.
>>>> 2. The mag-film trend was short-lived, I think. As far as I can tell,
>>>> by 1964 or so, only Command Records was still regularly making 35mm
>>>> mag-film masters for music albums. Any information on other labels
>>>> aside from Command and Project 3 regularly using 35mm as their
>>>> recording and mastering medium in the mid-60's would be appreciated.
>>>> The last Mercury Living Presence film sessions were 1963. Mercury's
>>>> pop Perfect Presence series ended in late 1961, if I recall
>>>> 3. By the late 60's, I think only Enoch Light's Project 3 Records was
>>>> still regularly recording and/or mastering to 35mm. If anyone has
>>>> information different from this, I'd be most appreciative if they'd
>>>> share it. I think Project 3 continued to use 35mm regularly into the
>>>> early 70's, even creating 4-track quad masters. But I don't have any
>>>> specifics about that era and Project 3, so any additional information
>>>> is greatly appreciated.
>>>> For those shy and/or discreet, please feel free to ping me off-list
>>>> and thank you in advnace.
>>>> -- Tom Fine
>>> The information in this email is confidential and may be legally
>>> Access to this email by anyone other than the addressee is
>> The information in this email is confidential and may be legally privileged.
>> Access to this email by anyone other than the addressee is unauthorized.